Fear Free Executive Council

executive committee

The Fear Free Executive Council

Mike Blackman

Mike graduated from the Pennsylvania State University with his MBA in 1976. He began his work career with Johnson and Johnson, working in sales and marketing of consumer products. Mike got involved in animal health when he joined Novartis Animal Health in 1996. He worked in a variety of positions with Novartis, culminating in his role as VP Sales. From Novartis, Mike joined AAHA and became the associations Chief Operating Office, which is his position today. In this role, Mike is responsible for all internal operations, including marketing, accreditation, finance and HR.  Mike has been married for 26 years, with two sons and four Chihuahuas.

Susan J. Barrett, DVM

Susan is a 1997 graduate of the Ohio State University. She spent her first 3 years after school in general practice, then spent the next 11 years in emergency medicine. She transitioned back to general practice in 2011, where she has developed a strong interest in teaching, behavior triage and low stress handling. She now leads the Community Practice Service at the Ohio State Veterinary Medical Center. Her service provides care for dogs and cats with an emphasis on low-stress handling and effective communication in every day practice.

Louise Dunn

Louise Dunn is a renowned, award-winning speaker, writer, and consultant. She brings over 40 years of in-the- trenches experience and business education to veterinary management. Dunn is the founder and chief executive officer of Snowgoose Veterinary Management Consulting (SVMC). SVMC works with veterinarians who want to develop a strategic plan that consistently produces results. Most recently, Dunn received the WVC Educator of the Year and Lifetime Achievement award. 

In addition to all aspects of practice management and mentoring, Dunn’s passions include her husband, Joel, Zuri the wonder English mastiff, kayaking, opera, and New England Patriots football.

Brenda Griffin, DVM, MS, DACVIM

Dr. Griffin is a 1990 graduate of the University of Georgia College of Veterinary Medicine. After completing an internship at the MSPCA’s Angell Memorial Animal Hospital in 1991, she spent time working in general small animal practice as well as in animal shelters before pursuing a residency in small animal internal medicine at Auburn University. For the past 17 years, Dr. Griffin has used her expertise in small animal internal medicine and her passion for shelter animals to assist in the development of training and research programs that support the field of Shelter Medicine. Her professional interests surround shelter animal behavior and welfare, population health and wellness, feline medicine, and strategies to prevent animals from entering shelters including behavioral wellness, identification, and sterilization programs.

She has published numerous articles and book chapters on these topics. While a member of the faculty of the Scott Ritchey Research Center, Dr. Griffin co-founded the Alliance for Contraception in Cats and Dogs and directed a trap-neuter-return program for campus and community cats and a Maddie’s Shelter Medicine program. She later served on the Association of Shelter Veterinarians’ Task Force to Advance Spay-Neuter, as well as the Shelter Standards Task Force. In 2000, she was named by the AVMA as the Bustad Companion Animal Veterinarian of the Year. She currently co-instructs courses in shelter medicine and behavior at both the University of Florida and the University of Georgia, and serves as the Regent for the new specialty in Shelter Medicine: ABVP- SMP.

Dr. Griffin lives in South Carolina with her husband, a pack of dogs, clowder of cats, and a cute pair of goats. In her spare time, she greatly enjoys playing with them all and is determined that one day she will train them better than they have trained her!

Debra Horwitz, DVM, DACVB

Debra Horwitz, DVM, DACVB, received her Doctor of Veterinary Medicine degree from Michigan State University College of Veterinary Medicine and is a diplomate of the American College of Veterinary Behaviorists (ACVB). She is a frequent lecturer on behavioral topics for veterinarians and pet owners in North America and abroad, and is often featured on television and radio.

 Horwitz is a behavioral consultant for the Veterinary Information Network (VIN), and has authored and edited several books and book chapters, including Blackwell’s Five-Minute Veterinary Consult Clinical Companion: Canine and Feline Behavior, which she co-authored with fellow veterinary behaviorist, Jacqui Neilson, DVM, DACVB. She is the sole author of the second edition, to be published in 2016. Her other works include the BSAVA Manual of Canine and Feline Behavioural Medicine and LifeLearn’s behavior client handouts. Horwitz is also the lead editor of Decoding Your Dog, a book for pet owners authored by diplomates of the ACVB.

Horwitz served as president of the ACVB from 2006 to 2008. She received the Veterinarian of the Year award from Ceva Animal Health during the Purina Pro Plan Show Dogs of the Year Awards in 2012, and was named Small Animal Speaker of the Year by the North American Veterinary Community (NAVC) in 2012 and 2014.

Gary Landsberg, DVM, DACVB, DECAWBM (CA)

Gary Landsberg, DVM, DACVB, DECAWBM (CA), received his Doctor of Veterinary Medicine degree from Ontario Veterinary College in 1976 and is a diplomate of both the American College of Veterinary Behaviorists (ACVB) and the European College of Animal Welfare and Behavioural Medicine (ECAWBM). He also currently serves on the ECAWBM executive board.

Landsberg offers behavior consultation services at North Toronto Veterinary Behaviour Specialty Clinic in Thornhill, Ontario, and serves as vice president of veterinary affairs for CanCog Technologies as well as a consultant for Veterinary Information Network (VIN). He has authored and edited more than 100 research papers, articles, and book chapters, and co-authored Behavior Problems of the Dog and Cat in 2013.

Landsberg received the Nestlé Purina PetCare Award from the American Animal Hospital Association (AAHA) in 2000, and the Meritorious Service Award from Western Veterinary Conference (WVC) in 2014. 

Debbie Martin, RVT, CPDT-KA, KPA CTP, VTS (Behavior)

Debbie Martin, RVT, CPDT-KA, KPA CTP, VTS (Behavior), received her Bachelor of Science degree in human ecology from The Ohio State University and an Associate of Applied Science degree in veterinary technology  from Columbus State Community College. She has been a full-time credentialed veterinary technician since 1996,  and is actively involved in the field of animal behavior. Martin is the animal behavior technician for Veterinary  Behavior Consultations, a mobile veterinary service located in Austin, Texas, with practice limited to the prevention and treatment of animal behavior disorders. She assists board-certified veterinary behaviorist, Dr. Kenneth Martin, who is also her husband, during in-home behavior consultations. Martin is also the co-owner of TEAM Education in Animal Behavior.

Martin is a veterinary technician specialist in behavior. She is the past president and treasurer for the Academy of Veterinary Behavior Technicians (AVBT) and an active member and past recording secretary for the Society of Veterinary Behavior Technicians (SVBT).

Martin is a Karen Pryor Academy certified training partner and was honored to be a KPA faculty member for the Dog Trainer Professional program from 2009 to 2016.

 In 2009, Martin and her husband published a book on development and training in dogs titled, Puppy Start Right: Foundation Training for the Companion Dog. They are also the authors of the Karen Pryor Academy course, Puppy Start Right for Instructors. Martin is the co-editor and contributing author of the textbook, Canine and Feline Behavior for Veterinary Technicians and Nurses.

Lisa Radosta, DVM, DACVB

Lisa Radosta, DVM, DACVB, graduated from the University of Florida College of Veterinary Medicine in 2000. After completing an internship in small animal medicine and surgery at Coral Springs Animal Hospital, she worked  as a primary care veterinarian for two and a half years. She completed a three-year residency in behavioral  medicine at the University of Pennsylvania in 2006 and passed the board examination later that year. During her r  residency, she received the Resident Research Award from the American College of Veterinary Behaviorists (ACVB) two years in a row. 

In 2005, she went to Baton Rouge, Louisiana to volunteer in the efforts to help animals stranded by Hurricane Katrina. She has owned Florida Veterinary Behavior Service since 2007.  

Radosta lectures nationally and internationally for veterinary professionals and pet owners. She has written book chapters for textbooks, including Handbook of Behavior Problems of the Dog and Cat, Blackwell’s Five-Minute Veterinary Consult: Canine and Feline and Small Animal Pediatrics. 

In addition, she has published scientific research articles in the Applied Animal Behaviour Science and The Veterinary Journal, and written review articles for Advances in Small Animal Medicine and Surgery, Compendium, Clinician’s Brief, and AAHA NewStat. She is the section editor for Advances in Small Animal Medicine and Surgery and served on the 2015 AAHA Canine and Feline Behavior Management Guidelines Task Force.

Radosta has also participated in tracking, obedience, herding, and therapy dog work with personal dogs. Currently, she shares her life with a wonderful husband and child, as well as Maverick, her Labrador retriever, Chewy, her cat, and several fish, including mollies, platys, tetras, and a pleco. 

John Talmadge, DVM

John Talmadge, DVM, is a co-owner and general practitioner at AAHA-accredited Bigger Road Veterinary Clinic in Springboro, Ohio. He grew up in Colorado and received his Doctor of Veterinary Medicine degree from Colorado State University in 1982. He practiced in Colorado before joining the Iams Company, where he served as vice president of sales and marketing for veterinary products from 1989 to 2006. His passion for medicine and business leadership brought him back into private practice when he joined Bigger Road Veterinary Clinic as a co-owner in 2006. He enjoys surgery and has a special interest in behavior cases.


When he’s not at the clinic, he can be found on the golf course or woodworking at his home, where he is kept company by two golden retrievers named Chloe and Tuck, and a cat named Jazz. Talmadge and his wife, Beth, have two adult children, Holly and Jason.

Fritz Wood, CPA, CFP

Fritz owns and operates an animal health consulting practice in Kansas City, where his clients include veterinarians and animal health companies. He also has a vibrant personal financial planning practice, helping veterinarians reach their lifetime financial goals. He’s focused exclusively on the veterinary profession for 25 years. Fritz has conducted important research examining veterinary productivity and attributes of high-performing practices. He’s a Certified Public Accountant and a Certified Financial Planner. 

Fritz is the former Personal Finance Editor of Veterinary Economics, where he also served on the Editorial Advisory Board for many years. He’s authored and published many dozens of articles related to the business of veterinary medicine and personal finance. Fritz teaches at several colleges of veterinary medicine, as well as local, state, regional, national and international meetings.

Fritz was Treasurer and served on the Board of Directors of the American Veterinary Medical Foundation (AVMF). He served on the Pricing Subcommittee of the National Commission on Veterinary Economic Issues (NCVEI), and is a Founding Member of VetPartners. He recently served as the Practice Management Chairman of the North American Veterinary Conference, on the Advisory Board of Veterinary Team Brief, and contributed to Veterinary Advantage.

Fritz holds Bachelor of Science degrees in Accounting and Business Administration from the University of Kansas (1986). His professional affiliations include the American Institute of Certified Public Accountants. His previous experience includes 9 years as a management consultant with a major global consultancy.


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